Buy Versus Build

Buy Versus Build

Employee Development is a critical component, and with the changed normal, the ability of the ecosystem to adapt and take stock of how the skill building is happening at large is a question.

Times have changed be it the new normal or the old normal. And I am pondering over the thought process of all the Talent Architects across industries. There are a few questions that remain unanswered post-pandemic:


Would our previously defined talent strategies still be valid?


Would the level of bonding that employees shared earlier still exist with organisations?


Would talent vulnerability be high due to organisations offering work from home and flexible options?


Is the talent landscape also getting dominated by the level of Emotional Quotient that the leaders or managers should display and what level should it be?


What are the areas that an organisation needs to focus differently now to develop the workforce for the future?


What are the motivators for people to change?


And the list may go on and on. Assimilating some of these thoughts help us to answer some critical questions in order to arrive at the decisions to be undertaken and have the right perspective. Basis my conversation with the business heads, I bring out some of the triggers which will be critically considered while designing talent strategies at our workplace looking at the critical business need.


Forthcoming challenges foreseen by the HR Leader


I am segregating some thoughts by the HR leader independent of the business needs which we would be looking at separately through a fulcrum principle. As I assimilate some of the thoughts, I am trying to gauge the following challenges:


a. With one year of hybrid working behind us and organisations talking progressively regarding their future proposals, there is a deep underlying fear amongst the leadership of diminishing employee bonding due to lack of interactions in the real sense. The ability to empathise through this would in fact be the next step only if the issue is known. Given such an unknown scenario, the future availability of existing talent remains as questionable.


b. Employee Development is a critical component, and with the changed normal, the ability of the ecosystem to adapt and take stock of how the skill building is happening at large is a question, especially for the workforce which is not exhibiting in the field. Employee Development channels through stretched assignments, competency mapping, on the job projects etc. are some examples that need to be tackled through change management to assess the progress of some of the abovementioned development projects.


c. With the flexibility of talent availability due to hybrid work dimensions, it will be difficult to hold people for certain cultural reasons due to the absence of a physical workplace and its associated mechanism to provide employees with worldclass facilities. This changing dimension is going to have a cascading effect on employee retention.


d. Financial parameters would be the prime area to look at as a challenge for the business leaders. The ad hoc usage of retention bonus or deferred compensation may account for increasing the extended cost of employees and would be collaborating lesser in their professional development and effective productivity. In short, new models to absorb such components need to be derived.


What Business Need Today


For arriving at a decision on the buy vs build strategy, it is imperative to look at the business need today. The business need is largely dependent on how the organisation is growing in the future considering the external factors including the ability of the ecosystem to respond to the working conditions.


There are different components being observed as a part of the craft which is being created:


a. Digital Immersion in today’s environment is critical considering that the new age platforms of the customer are evolving and need talent to be developed to get the respective ecosystem components and be up to speed.


b. Customer engagement models need to be reviewed in order to develop better market forecasting models and talent with foresight in this space is going to be the forthcoming demand.


c. Monitoring frequent changes and managing the ecology is another desired capability which could be translated through talent fungibility and adaptability and there is a critical business need demanding the same.


d. Developing a Human approach amongst managers especially with regards to benefits related to the workforce’s personal and professional space, their family health, adaptability to their situation and ability to generate requisite support system are some of the new competencies being observed in the leadership.


e. Tracking employee’s productivity with respect to rewards and managing their earnings is also one of the critical areas the business is demanding in order to assimilate and retain good quality talent.


Developing the talent landscape


Developing the talent landscape now helps in understanding the above in greater detail. This talent landscape helps in delivering the forthcoming requirements. While arriving at the decision of building vs buying talent, it is quite imperative to arrive at the few of the below decisions:


a. Talent needs basis the Plan A vs B vs C and the timeframe basis the situational analysis which needs to be covered through an extensive study on the external environment of availability of the desired talent pool from various sources.


b. Conducting regular talent discussions in order to help the leadership team view the identified talent from the common lens. It is a long process but would help in getting the right perspective from the leadership edge which would help in making talent discussions very qualitative.


The Pandemic has rightly taught us that some of the decisions are undertaken with respect to availability of talent for addressing future needs, understanding the technology interventions and future requirements and managing diversity of thoughts amongst the leadership team are some of the strategic changes which are helping the organisations to evolve and get future ready. A sure-fire element is the dynamism in decision making to help address the current needs by developing existing talent while catering to future strategic needs to procure talent from the market looking at the diverse industries portfolio.


c. Working on the development keeping the end state is very critical and the decision shall rest with the respective team before the final move is undertaken.


Viekas K Khokha has more than two decades of multi-industry experience in handling the entire gamut of HR functions, including strategic transformation projects. He has worked in senior leadership roles at Zimmer Biomet and Bharti Airtel. He can be reached on LinkedIn at—Viekas K Khokha.


0/3000 Free Article Left >Subscribe